My first experience with a chickpea was years ago in Texas. It was in the form of Hummus, and I will admit I was not impressed. At that time, the main product in this gray, clay-like product was introduced to me as Garbanzo Beans. I recall it well; it was my introduction to a healthy food new to me in my youthful 18 years.
Fast forward a few decades and it may be fair to say that the Garbanzo Bean (which may also be referred to as the Egyptian Pea as well), has possibly reached Maslow’s top hierarchy of self-actualization. An amazing Italian entrepreneur and businessman by the name of Livio Bisterzo has taken a squishy little legume and made it into a hero. The chickpea is no longer a dull legume waiting to be mashed into a dip. It has morphed into Hippeas, and this popular new snack food is all the latest craze on Starbuck’s healthy grab-and-go menu.
Livio Bisterzo, although of Italian descent, studied at London’s University of the Arts before developing and leaving a trail of successful food and/or beverage businesses. Bisterzo became CEO and developed his latest company Green Park Holdings in 2015. This year, he and his family brought Green Park Holdings to Los Angeles. Along with that move, Bisterzo brought his determination and mission to produce a variety of healthy snacks that are convenient and are attractive to the businessperson who is on the go.
The creatively named Hippeas are developed chickpeas that have come a long way since they were most popular as Hummus dip; Hummus’ greatest attribute was to have enhanced flavors added to the dip. Hippeas are the antithesis of dip; they are crunchy little morsels that are gluten-free and vegan, and they are cooperative travelers. An extensive amount of time was invested in creating two market-friendly varieties: Vegan White Cheddar and Far Out Fajita. Bisterzo considered consumers’ senses intensely in the production of these snacks; not only did they need to be healthy, they needed to have just the perfect crunch, savory flavor, and visual appeal. Packaging is bright and cheerful and has modern appeal. Starbucks fans apparently think that Bisterzo has mastered his mission, as Hippeas have hit the market running.